Thursday, June 02, 1977

Joe Torre’s Appointment Is Not the Mets’ Answer

In changing managers, the New York Mets produced one giant leap for Joe Torre, but only one small step for the organization. Many other steps, some not so small are necessary. The ideal step would be for M. Donald Grant to abdicate as chairman of the board and for his puppet Joe McDonald to be replaced as general manager. They created the chaos that Joe Torre has been hired to clear. As long as Grant remains in charge Joe McDonald will remain in office, all of which leaves Joe Torre in jeopardy if the Mets are not a contender. Not now. And probably not next season but in 1979, the final year of his contract, Joe Torre will be in jeopardy.
But for the Mets to be a contender the front office must supply Joe Torre with some hitters, some speed and some trust. They front office must negotiate an armistice with Tom Seaver, Jon Matlack and Dave Kingman.

“The guys seem to be trying like hell for me,” Joe Torre said. “After they do it for me, I hope they do it for themselves.”

“If it were up to you, would you trade Seaver?”
“Trade him ofr who? I’m not going to trade Seaver for nobody. But if you buy a house for $50,000 and someone offers you $200,000 you’ve got to consider it.”

Since there are only two weeks left until the June 15 deadline, trading Tom Seaver won’t be easy. To justify trading the pitcher who has been described as “The Franchise” for nearly a decade the Mets should bet a performer of the same magnitude.

“The players will have respect for Joe the way they had respect for Gil Hodges,” says Seaver.

NYT Anderson 6/2/77

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